Jazz Festival opens this week at Orcas Center

The Orcas Island Jazz Festival, lights up Orcas Center every Labor Day weekend to celebrate and share the music of jazz.

This year, COVID-friendly precautions will be taken to hold socially distanced in-person events as well as live-stream options for those who aren’t able to attend in person. The 2021 OIJF schedule:

Thursday, September 2: Jazz Improv 101 – 7 p.m. showtime

Have you ever asked yourself when you attend a jazz concert, just what the heck is happening up there on stage, musicians blowing their heart out, makin’ stuff up right on the spot? If so, come to this free one-hour seminar on the rules that make up “makin’ stuff up,” a primer on how to listen to jazz, and understand some of the goings-on in spontaneous aural creation. Martin Lund and friends will be on hand to give you a first-hand look at how this music comes together, and make your weekend even fuller. Lund added, “I guarantee that this sixty-minute class will change your life, enlighten beyond reason, and create a newly-born lover of the world where creative music resides.”

Friday, September 3: Marina and the Dreamboats – 7 p.m. showtime

After being diagnosed with a tumor that threatens her right arm, Marina Christopher felt a fire to further launch her dream project. Writing and recording in between surgeries and radiation therapy resulted in ‘Marina and The Dreamboats, a sassy and soulful band performing songs with depth, humor, and a contagious amount of pure joy. Marina and The Dreamboats deliver an addictive blend of jazz, soul, and classic pop and aren’t afraid to throw down a New Orleans second line.

Saturday, September 4: Duende Libre – 7 p.m. showtime

Duende Libre is a dynamic and uplifting quintet that blends elements of Afro-Cuban jazz with Brazilian samba, American funk, and traditional West African music into a unique sound all of their own. The band’s most recent album won an Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award for “Northwest Recording of the Year.”

Sunday, September 5: Martin Lund and the Off-Island All-Stars – 7 p.m. showtime

Martin Lund, one of the most diverse musicians in the universe, lives and breathes music in many different colors and cultures. He has played with some of the great blues artists of our time and worked in the studios of LA as a composer, arranger, and musician. He is well known for bringing great artists to this island and providing some of the best shows at Orcas Center. This year’s line-up includes John Bishop, Chuck Deardorf, Gene Nery, and Jake Sele.

Online and in-person tickets range from $5-$57 and are available at www.OrcasCenter.org. During COVID, Orcas Center is following standards embraced by medical experts and adopted by local and national venues. To attend, patrons simply need to give their name at the door — check-in will be contactless — and provide proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID.